A new study suggests that the novel COVID-19 can remain in the air for up to three hours, and live on surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to three days.
The research, published in the medRxiv depository, also notes that the virus can remain on copper surfaces for four hours and carboard for up to 24 hours. The research found it could stay on stainless steel and plastic for anywhere between two and three days.
“Our results indicate that aerosol and fomite transmission of HCoV-19 is plausible, as the virus can remain viable in aerosols for multiple hours and on surfaces up to days,” the researchers wrote in the study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Another study published in February concluded that if COVID-19 is similar to other coronaviruses, such as SARS or MERS, it could live on surfaces like metal, glass and plastic for up to nine days. By comparison, the flu virus can only live on surfaces for approximately 48 hours.
That study, published in the Journal of Hospital Infection, suggested that coronaviruses could be “efficiently inactivated” with disinfectants that contain:
“62–71 percent ethanol, 0.5 percent hydrogen peroxide or 0.1 percent sodium hypochlorite within 1 minute,” adding that other agents that contain “0.05–0.2% benzalkonium chloride or 0.02 percent chlorhexidine digluconate are less effective.”
Currently, there is no specific medicine to cure or treat COVID-19.
More than 127,000 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed globally, including over 80,000 in China and 1,323 in the U.S., according to the latest data
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- COVID-19 has been declared a Public Health emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization and the United States Department of Health and Human Services. During such events it is important to conserve limited resources, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Specific PPE is necessary for associates to wear while providing care to patients suspected or confirmed with infection. In addition, masks are necessary for potentially contagious persons to wear while in Ascension care facilities.
- Every item of PPE, in particular masks and respirators, is critically important. Please follow these important guidelines:
- Do not waste PPE
- Do not store PPE in non-designated locations where it may be taken or lost
- If you see evidence of waste or inappropriate use report immediately to your supervisor
- Do not wear PPE inappropriately in the halls (e.g. gloves, etc.)
- Do not take PPE from one location to be used or stored in another location
- Reserve procedure masks (ear loops) for patients and visitors only
- Preserve supplies of surgical masks (tie-ons) for ambulatory settings and respirators (N95s) for acute care high risk settings
- Use gowns for patient care only, and minimize the overall number of people entering a room for the same task (e.g. shadowing; rounding teams, etc.)
Important prevention guidelines
- According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the immediate health risk from COVID-19 to the general American public is low. The best ways to prevent the spread of viruses is to follow normal daily precautions including:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wear a mask when going out in public if you think you have a contagious respiratory infection.
- Anyone who believes they may have had contact with someone who is confirmed to have, or is being evaluated for COVID-19, should contact their physician. The CDC recommends that individuals call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room and inform clinical staff about symptoms and any recent travel.
- More information can be found at cdc.gov.